A day in the life
EVER WONDER WHAT IT’S like to fly a fighter in combat? Well, today
you’re going to find out. It’s World War II. You’re on Guadalcanal, and
you’re the pilot of a Grumman F4F Wildcat. It’s not sleek or pretty,
but it’s tough and it’s your bird against the enemy; bring it on!
You have about 25 total hours in the airplane, the first operational
aircraft you’ve flown since completing pilot training. You’re starting
to get the hang of it, and you think you’re ready to fight. But you’ve
never actually been in combat before. At 21 years old, you figure
you’re almost indestructible—but ya ain’t really been shot at yet.
At the bar with your buddies, you’re pretty confident, as are
most. In private, you sometimes wonder how you’ll do. You shake
that thought; you only want to think you’ll do well, even with bullets
flying. Your squadron mates need you, and
there’s no way you’re going to let them down.
There’s no way you won’t make your family
back home proud. But the din and confusion
of combat has its own initiation: Will you
keep your wits? Your skill? Your courage?